Section 3AA wrestling: Trojans romp

WORTHINGTON -- Worthington and Fairmont/Martin County West will move on to the Section 3AA South wrestling semifinals as they each won in the quarterfinals on Thursday at Worthington High School. The Red Bulls also defeated Fulda/Murray County Ce...

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Worthington's Mason Byrne applies pressure to New Ulm's Lane Miller at 170 pounds in the Section 3AA meet. (Tim Middagh / Daily Globe)


WORTHINGTON -- Worthington and Fairmont/Martin County West will move on to the Section 3AA South wrestling semifinals as they each won in the quarterfinals on Thursday at Worthington High School. The Red Bulls also defeated Fulda/Murray County Central 72-7 in the first round.

The Trojans move on to face Wabasso/Red Rock Central in a semifinal matchup on Saturday in Wabasso, while F/MCW faces Marshall. The Worthington and W/RRC matchup is a rematch of a controversial section final from a year ago.

“We’re one step closer to where we need to be,” Worthington head coach Mark Prunty said. “There’s a lot of dangerous teams in this section, including New Ulm. It was nice to have a match at home tonight.”

Worthington -- the No. 1 seed in the south -- defeated New Ulm 56-17, getting eight pins along the way. New Ulm advanced to the quarters following a 46-25 win over Luverne.


The Trojans controlled the Eagles throughout the dual, with the outcome never in serious doubt. They knew that if they found success in the lower weights, they could control the upper weights.

“It was good,” Worthington senior 220-pounds wrestler Brandon Kempema said. “Our upper weights did what they were supposed to do. And down low we got the wins we needed.”

And they started the night off with two wins at 106 and 113, to start out with an early 9-0 lead.

Worthington’s Damon Schutz (106 pounds) defeated Jackson Bode 5-0. He scored a takedown in the first period, and then got an escape and a second takedown in the third. He held on and was in control through the end.

Then, Erik Artiga followed that up for the Trojans with a pin of Carter Brandes in 2:52. Artiga controlled the whole match, running the score up to 5-0 before getting the pin.

“At 106 and 113, their kids have been wrestling really well,” Prunty said. “To pick up those two wins off the bat, really got the momentum swinging in our direction.”

New Ulm pulled within four at 21-17, after Tanner Stark pinned Worthington’s Preston Anderson in 0:26. But the Trojans dominated after that, picking up five pins and a tech fall in the final six matches.

Jacob Neuberger (160 pounds), Marcos Herrera (182 pounds), Vince Riley (195 pounds), Kempema (220 pounds) and Nic Putnam (285 pounds) all got pins. Mason Byrne (170 pounds) won by tech fall.


“I tried to go out and just snap him -- that’s what I was trying to do -- but that didn’t work,” Kempema said. “I got my shot and he tried to headlock me, but I worked off that and got the pin.”

Jacob Prunty (126 pounds) and Braydon Donkersloot (145 pounds) also picked up pins for the Trojans.

Ethan Pavelko (138 pounds) did a great job to battle and not give up any bonus points to New Ulm’s Sean Howk -- ranked No. 8 in the state at 132 -- as he lost 3-0.

Also advancing to the next round, No. 3S Fairmont/Martin County West upset No. 2S Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove 38-27.

Collin Steuber sealed the Red Bulls fate as he picked up a pin at 182 pounds to put the dual out of reach at 35-15.

F/MCW ran out to a big early lead, winning six of the first seven matches and took a 26-3 lead. Connor Simonds (106 pounds), Jaxson Rohman (113 pounds), Jordan Wolter (126 pounds), Zac Ringnell (132 pounds), Payton Anderson (138 pounds) and Mario Maldonado (145 pounds) all won in that span. TMB/WWG’s Derrick Ellingson defeated Cole Steuber 15-9 for the Panthers’ lone victory in the first seven matches.

The Panthers got back-to-back pins at 152 pounds and 160 pounds. Trevor Eisfeld (152 pounds) pinned Nathan Simmonds, and Nash Mayer (160 pounds) pinned Miles Fitzgerald.

In a first round match, Luverne took an early lead over New Ulm, but the Eagles ran off wins in five-straight matches to take a lead the Cardinals just couldn’t overcome, as they lost 46-25.


Luverne’s Hunter Baker defeated Jackson Bode at 106 pounds to kick the dual off with a 3-0 lead for the Cardinals. But that was all Luverne won for awhile.

New Ulm ran off victories at 113 pounds, 120 pounds, 126 pounds, 132 pounds and 138 pounds to take a 22-3 lead.

Luverne’s Jed Dooyema pinned Avery Hermel in 1:26 at 145 pounds. Then New Ulm’s Tanner Stark answered with a pin of his own of Matt Hup at 152 pounds.

Luverne ran off three-straight wins at 160 pounds, 170 pounds and 182 pounds to pull within three at 28-25, but with two holes in the lineup looming, it was too little too late. Jeremiah Dooyema (160 pounds) won a major decision over Miles Fitzgerald, Jake Haugen (170 pounds) pinned Rilye Carson, and Solomon Nielsen (182 pounds) pinned Lane Miller.

The Eagles got a pin and two forfeits to run away.

In the other first round match, Fulda/Murray County Central was at a major disadvantage as it faced Mairmont/Martin County West, with only six wrestlers to fill the 14 weight classes. And it was too much for the Warriors to overcome as F/MCW defeated them 72-7.

F/MCC picked up two wins as Danny Blankenship defeated Jaxson Rohman by major decision at 113 pounds, and Jon Gehl defeated Nathan Simmonds 4-1 at 152 pounds.

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